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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-30 3:48 pm 
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Joined: 2011-Feb-07 3:37 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Danbury, CT
It seems like there's two different threads happening here...

One is, "Collectible cards cost more money than I want/am able to spend, and it's frustrating." (At least, this seems to be what Sheldon's responding to.) This is not usually a line of conversation that I have a lot of patience for, since MTG's not a necessity, and there are ways to play without needing to max out your credit card every month.

The other is, "Buyout-driven price spikes suck." This one I have more sympathy for... I'm just not sure what anyone can reasonably do to prevent it.

Sinis wrote:
The conclusion is depressing though; Magic will continue to operate as an unregulated financial market, because the people in charge of producing this environment think that's the best way to do business.


I don't think the people doing the spec buyouts are representative of most folks who sell Magic cards for a living. But there seem to be enough of them with enough money that it rocks the boat for everyone else, and it sucks.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-30 4:19 pm 
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I dislike it from a personal standpoint because I'm super poor and hate shelling out a lot for cards I want/need to make my decks competitively viable beyond a one time gimmick win, but from an objective standpoint I can't really fault it because that's pretty much how supply and demand works and making it not be that way seems like it would take some weird contorting of the whole selling and reselling system that wouldn't be favorable for anybody who currently makes money on card sales.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-31 1:27 am 

Joined: 2011-Sep-30 6:08 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Honestly, if you want to see what the Magic economy looks like in a totally unregulated perfect free market condition, just look at MODO. The margins that bots operate on are super thin. There is a ton of competition. Liquidity is absurdly high. The result is that there are still some number of absurdly expensive cards (although far less absurd that paper) and almost everything else costs next to nothing.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2015-Dec-31 8:10 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Buyouts and hoarding are as much the game as collecting. For playing a format like this, and not in a tournament setting, i am way ok with proxies. I prefer an even playing field based on skill, even though there are some downsides to allowing proxies. But when it comes to finance, i speculate and buy in. When it comes to real tournaments, you must earn the money for your cards if you want to play them for money.

lol @ Gaddock Teeg btw


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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2016-Jan-02 3:13 am 
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Location: Costa La Haya, capital del ducado Holanda
Sinis wrote:
Later that year, I spy an unlimited Timetwister for $250. The condition is good, but not perfect. The LGS owner tells me that it was pulled by a kid in a zendikar expeditions pack. So cool. I call my wife, and she says 'yeah whatever', because we're both bad with money.


This is cool on so many levels.

Sinis wrote:
I look at the prices now, of everything, and I wonder wtf happened to my game. I read a brilliant article about the economics of Magic, the reserved list, and why prices are the way they are.


Excellent article, thanks!

Bruticus wrote:
Sheldon wrote:
I'm curious (in an honest, and not snarky, fashion) as to why you think all the options should be available to everyone regardless of income.


When playing magic with people of varying income, it is a terrible feeling knowing that the only reason you won or lost is because player A had more money to spend and player B had less. Perhaps player B is just as good or even better, but cannot afford the cards that would push his/her deck over the edge. I want to play people at their best to maximize their fun and my own.


What if I need those cards to compensate for the lack of sleep because I have to work more than you do? Or get up in the middle of the night to change my kid's diapers? Is my lack of sleep not disturbing your view of what a level playing field is? I can see what you mean, but if that's what you're looking for in Magic you should be playing tournaments. EDH is (should be) regulated by the Social Contract. My powerful cards spoiling your fun? Means I should change my deck. Something like that.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2016-Jan-04 9:44 pm 
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Joined: 2008-Dec-26 7:50 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Amsterdam, Holland
Shabbaman wrote:
Bruticus wrote:
Sheldon wrote:
I'm curious (in an honest, and not snarky, fashion) as to why you think all the options should be available to everyone regardless of income.


When playing magic with people of varying income, it is a terrible feeling knowing that the only reason you won or lost is because player A had more money to spend and player B had less. Perhaps player B is just as good or even better, but cannot afford the cards that would push his/her deck over the edge. I want to play people at their best to maximize their fun and my own.


What if I need those cards to compensate for the lack of sleep because I have to work more than you do? Or get up in the middle of the night to change my kid's diapers? Is my lack of sleep not disturbing your view of what a level playing field is? I can see what you mean, but if that's what you're looking for in Magic you should be playing tournaments. EDH is (should be) regulated by the Social Contract. My powerful cards spoiling your fun? Means I should change my deck. Something like that.

Powerful doesn't equate to expensive btw. Obviously there are cards that are both powerful and expensive, but there are cheap powerful cards too, just like there are weak but expensive cards. Expensive cards are likely to make someone feel outclassed at the table, but it doesn't necessarily mean they really are power level wise.

To demonstrate that the value of my cards wasn't solely responsible for my wins I played a lot of games with the unmodified Commander precons, my win percentage barely went down (only couldn't win with the Heavenly Inferno deck for some reason). Sure, the precons couldn't keep up with my fully tricked out Glissa deck, but that deck was built competitively and geared to play as unfairly as possible (while the group was quite casual). On the other hand the only other common decks at the table that were posting similar win percentages to the precons were my own decks (and only when played by me). Possibly I should've aimed lower for my group to balance out the win percentages a bit, but importantly, while others got complaints about their decks and playstyles I rarely did (and then usually only for one particular deck that I was already thinking about changing to remove some annoying elements).

I prefer to come up with a strange and/or suboptimal strategy for my decks and then try to push that strategy to the max. Usually this means choosing synergistic cards over powerful, choosing the best options available given choice and it sometimes means needing weird cards that happen to be expensive. Non of this means that my expensive decks are necessarily stronger than a cheap deck as they are still limited by how far the strategy can be pushed. It does happen that a strategy turns out to be stronger than I expected, but I might then decide to take it in a different direction or build a new deck. Jason Alt advocates building geared towards 75% power level with some optimal card choices but also with some suboptimal choices to compensate. This is not a way of building that suits me personally as I like to optimize, but it's another way to get to the same end goal as with my strategy choices I should also end up with a less optimal deck, probably near the same 75% level he advocates.

If you are in a highly competitive group the above doesn't apply, but then neither does the Social Contract. I cannot comment on this situation from experience, but I would suspect that you could metagame the group with cheaper cards, though dominating the group and have them adjust to you may only be possible with expensive cards or at least more expensive cards.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2016-Jan-04 10:34 pm 

Joined: 2009-Nov-28 7:07 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Sheldon wrote:
Assume the reserve list is gone. What good-for-the-format cards would you reprint?


I couldn't resist answering this;

Duals, Gauntlet of Might, Vesuvan Doppelganger, Wheel of Fortune, Diamond Valley, Gate to Phyrexia, City of Shadows, Kjeldoran Outpost Mishra's Workshop, Null Rod, Mox Diamond, Gilded Drake, Gaea's Cradle, Yawgmoth's Will, Grim Monolith, Survival of the Fittest, Volrath's Stronghold.

Of course, what I consider "good for the format", is more along the lines of "what I'd be comfortable with seeing more of in our local play group"


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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2016-Jan-08 7:31 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Sovarius wrote:
lol @ Gaddock Teeg btw

Add a "lol @ Inquisition of Kozilek" to that.

A lot of people are going to be stuck with a lot of cards they can't move for profit.


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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2016-Jan-08 8:39 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
JJackson wrote:
Sovarius wrote:
lol @ Gaddock Teeg btw

Add a "lol @ Inquisition of Kozilek" to that.

A lot of people are going to be stuck with a lot of cards they can't move for profit.

I don't see why the executors of the buyout won't be able to make a profit off of this? If they dried up the supply enough, they just have to wait for modern season and the card will not go back down to it's pre-buyout price.

I actually was thinking about buying a couple dozen this morning, but i get online after my shower and the finance world is buzzing about it :(
Appears to have happened today, even.

Though granted buyouts are a lot different than price correction. But IoK is around 20-23 for the moment. It will probably calm down but then still be quite pricey come Modern season.


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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2016-Jan-08 10:27 am 

Joined: 2013-Aug-20 4:37 am
Age: Elder Dragon
Location: Boston
Sovarius wrote:
I don't see why the executors of the buyout won't be able to make a profit off of this? If they dried up the supply enough, they just have to wait for modern season and the card will not go back down to it's pre-buyout price.

Unless they have a way of selling the cards at retail, they need the price to increase 1.5x to 2x to be able to turn any profit on it. Dealers will pay someplace between 50% and 70% of retail. Ebay is generally lower price than retail and takes a pretty decent commission; plus you have the cost of shipping.


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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2016-Jan-08 5:12 pm 

Joined: 2009-May-05 9:45 pm
Age: Dragon
Location: Acworth, GA
It is not about selling the cards directly. When a price spike happens, those that live off of magic finance are more likely to trade the inflated cards for their full inflated value for either bulk to turn or stable earners that are not currently inflated. There is a lot more than buy low, sell high to be earning a living this way.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2016-Jan-10 3:20 am 
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Joined: 2010-Jan-25 4:50 pm
Age: Elder Dragon
Shabbaman wrote:
Bruticus wrote:
When playing magic with people of varying income, it is a terrible feeling knowing that the only reason you won or lost is because player A had more money to spend and player B had less. Perhaps player B is just as good or even better, but cannot afford the cards that would push his/her deck over the edge. I want to play people at their best to maximize their fun and my own.


What if I need those cards to compensate for the lack of sleep... but if that's what you're looking for in Magic you should be playing tournaments. EDH is (should be) regulated by the Social Contract. My powerful cards spoiling your fun? Means I should change my deck. Something like that.


I would rather play that person when they are rested so we were on an even playing field... This is not about tournament play, it is about optimizing your fun strategy that you came up with. But you can't because the cards that used to cost nothing skyrocket in price. I am all for synergistic decks and fun interactions using odd cards. Many of my decks could be much more cut throat, but I specifically constrict them to the level of viable and fun. That means on top of all the synergistic cards I still need oblivion stone 200% price spike, reiterate 400% price spike, Night of souls betrayal, I mean it's just crazy how many cards have been spiking recently.

Sovarius wrote:
Though granted buyouts are a lot different than price correction.

Yet people call buyouts and the subsequent price spike, a "price correction" all the time. Look at horizon canopy and so many other cards.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2016-Jan-10 5:27 am 
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Joined: 2011-Jan-02 5:25 am
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Bruticus wrote:
This is not about tournament play, it is about optimizing your fun strategy that you came up with.


So because you can't have the cards you want I can't have them either? You can have fun but I can't. Odd reasoning.

Bruticus wrote:
But you can't because the cards that used to cost nothing skyrocket in price.


You can have them if you got them before they skyrocketed. I thought 15 bucks for a dual was expensive, yet I still got a load of them. I'm not going to stop playing cards because someone who just started playing doesn't own cards. It works the other way around too, btw: I don't spend a lot of money on cards, I think $20 for a new card is too expensive. People who draft or play standard (my last standard was Odyssey-Onslaught) usually have some new cards in their collection that I find expensive. You're not going to play your cards because I don't own them either.

Bruticus wrote:
I mean it's just crazy how many cards have been spiking recently.


On that, we agree :) But compared to recent sets the print run of some older sits is very small. So a buyout isn't that hard. If there's no supply (because it's been hoarded), price will skyrocket. The solution: buy more dollar rares before they spike?

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2016-Jan-10 6:05 am 
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Shabbaman wrote:
So because you can't have the cards you want I can't have them either? You can have fun but I can't. Odd reasoning.


No, it's not that you can't have them, it's that everyone *should* have them.

Shabbaman wrote:
Bruticus wrote:
But you can't because the cards that used to cost nothing skyrocket in price.

I'm not going to stop playing cards because someone who just started playing doesn't own cards.

That's not what I mean, I want everyone to be able to play with all the cards. That is a lot different than saying no one can play with X card because Y player doesn't have one.

Shabbaman wrote:
Bruticus wrote:
I mean it's just crazy how many cards have been spiking recently.

On that, we agree :) But compared to recent sets the print run of some older sits is very small. So a buyout isn't that hard. If there's no supply (because it's been hoarded), price will skyrocket. The solution: buy more dollar rares before they spike?

Yeah, no real reasonable way to get around this, I of course understand older sets are harder to come by. It just would be nice to see more aggressive reprints from wizards like what they did with the shocklands.

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 Post subject: Re: "Price Correction"
AgePosted: 2016-Jan-10 8:50 am 

Joined: 2014-Sep-13 7:28 am
Age: Elder Dragon
JJackson wrote:
Sovarius wrote:
I don't see why the executors of the buyout won't be able to make a profit off of this? If they dried up the supply enough, they just have to wait for modern season and the card will not go back down to it's pre-buyout price.

Unless they have a way of selling the cards at retail, they need the price to increase 1.5x to 2x to be able to turn any profit on it. Dealers will pay someplace between 50% and 70% of retail. Ebay is generally lower price than retail and takes a pretty decent commission; plus you have the cost of shipping.

Well if you are referring ti IoK specifically, it's settled at almost twice it's price, so that profit has been had (and you don't have to look further than Ebay where copies are selling at $20 and sets for $80). In large buyouts, if you make a small margin but get that margin over dozens of copies, it still adds up.
In something like this, the supply is dry enough right now that all the hoarders can sit on them until Modern, where the price will go even higher when people pick up all the copies at $20, and then everyone picks up all the copies at $21 and $22, and then everyone who is selling for $23 ups their price to $24. Being a buyout might spike it's price unrealistically, but being a staple, it's not going to settle for less than it was going to be eventually anyway. Card is at least a solid $25 in 6-7 weeks even if there wasn't a buyout, in my opinion. I don't see IoK becoming a $15 card this year (unless reprinted some way).

When people buy into the hype, cards can multiply much more. Like the new Eldrazi deck - Eye of Ugin is about 4x it's price from just a couple weeks ago, and Eldrazi Temple is up 4x or 5x it's price. The profit margins on those are quite large and with the traction the deck has and the increase in players building decks a little later in the year, i don't think we are going to see these cards dip to their original price. Probably the only way it does if suddenly the deck turns out to suck, and then the cards recently printed tank but Temple/Eye probably hold some value regardless of the deck's failure.

Yes dealers may purchase at 50%-70%, but the margins are enough for the quick sellers ahead of the curve to buylist anyway. Many people do this to dump their specs into cash immediately and have those funds for a new spec.

Bruticus wrote:
Sovarius wrote:
Though granted buyouts are a lot different than price correction.

Yet people call buyouts and the subsequent price spike, a "price correction" all the time. Look at horizon canopy and so many other cards.

Yea but i think they would be wrong. Reiterate spiking to $40 was a kneejerk reaction to a buyout and people trying to cash in on incredibly unwarranted profits. The price correction part of that is when it settled to $15. I think $15 is a fair price now. I think that sometimes people think a card 'needs' a price correction, being that it's really undervalued compared to similarly used and rare cards, and then go in for a few playsets, and then others notice this, and go in for a few playsets... It's not really correct and is artificial, but also not the same as a buyout or a deliberate attempt to spike a card.


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